Sky will start to turn on its adult and malware content filter by default in the next 10 days for any customers who have not set a preference to date.
New customers (and those who got new routers) have been asked to choose to opt in or out of Sky’s ‘Broadband Shield’ since its non-mandatory arrival at the back end of 2013, but all users will now be required to tell the company if they want to opt in to adult content, with the filter setting turned on by default if no overt decision is made. The Shield can also be turned off entirely.
The implementation of filtering software has been heavily pushed on the ISPs, with David Cameron calling for mandatory opt-in in 2013, but censoring any content on the internet by default is never likely to prove a popular decision among the general public.
Inevitably the decision has been taken under the guise of protecting children, something that has previously been left to the parents.
"Once Sky Broadband Shield is active, users cannot access a filtered site unless they choose to log in and alter their settings," explains Lyssa McGowan, Brand Director, Communications Products in a blog.
The Broadband Shield also filters phishing and malware sites, so does add a measure of security, and can be tailored to allow greater content access at different times of the day – but the settings must be done manually.
"Knowing our customers and the internet as we do, we believe this is the right and simplest solution to a problem we all know is out there," concludes McGowan.
Whether the customers agree or there will be backlash remains to be seen.